Monday, February 21, 2011

An Interview With Joshua Graham

We recently spoke with Joshua Graham about his wonderful book BEYOND JUSTICE and about his work. Here is what he had to say.

WW. You’ve had a whirlwind year, with several e-books being released as well as some pretty amazing reviews of BEYOND JUSTICE. How have you dealt with you sudden success?

JG. I honestly didn’t know how the public would respond to BEYOND JUSTICE when it was first released. But since then, I’ve been so honored with the reviews, hitting #1 on multiple bestseller lists, and the flood of fan mail. If there’s one word to describe how I feel it would be: Grateful!

WW. Suspense Magazine reviewed your book, BEYOND JUSTICE in September. You have since made their Best of 2010 List. How instrumental has Suspense Magazine and others like them been in getting your name out there?

JG. Suspense Magazine is a fantastic publication and I am certain that by featuring and putting me on the list, they have given me a lot more gadgets to put in my marketing utility belt. By putting me in the same league as Scott Turrow, Ted Dekker, Brad Thor, and Steven James, they’ve definitely helped shape my career. I am so appreciative.

WW. Can you tell us why you chose to write in this particular genre and if you will keep close to it in the future?

JG. I didn’t really think of any particular genre, just the actual story. It can fit into Legal Thrillers easily, but how many legal thrillers include supernatural or paranormal elements as you’d find in a Stephen King book? I love legal thrillers by John Grisham and James Grippando, but I also love Stephen King’s and Dean Koontz’s books as well. I plan to continue writing suspense/thrillers, but I am sure I’ll write other genres as well.

WW. What has been the most humbling part of your literary journey, thus far?

JF. Besides the bestseller lists, the honors, and reviews, I am by far humbled by the letters my fans have sent me. They range from funny and cute, to heart-warming.
Here are a few fan letters I received (funny ones first):

“My husband bought [Beyond Justice] in the mail after work, got your book from Amazon…he’s been reading it all night and can’t put it down. He says it’s so exciting….I don’t think it’ll be long before I get my turn.
(next morning) he’s still reading it…if he’s late to work, he’s gonna tell his boss it’s Joshua Graham’s fault”
~Mei T.
“It was so good. Its message was powerful. Yes, I snot cried.”
~Amy S.
“I was just coming here to say that I am like just over 200 pages in Beyond Justice!! Can I say WOW WOW WOW enough?… Fabulously written book so far!! Now I have to go back to ignoring my children in order to read!”
“Oh Joshua, that was the worse book ever!!! lol It took me like 36 hours to read your book and I bawled like a baby! Yep the last 2 pages I had such a hard time reading through tears!!
~Kaytee S.

Here are the most humbling letters I’ve gotten:

WOW. Not what I expected. It was a pleasant and kind of strange surprise that I happened along this wonderful book (or should I say message) this week! I have been struggling with some things right now and your book put things into perspective. You have a special talent and I thank you”
~Jennifer T.
…Moments ago I finished reading Beyond Justice. I was moved to tears more than once. What an amazing and emotional novel. It is not often I am moved so profoundly. I have had a tumultuous relationship with God over the last 15 years and you, Joshua, have brought me back home. Thank you, sir.”
~Kim L.

I just want to say to my readers, thank YOU. This encourages me like nothing else and reassures me of my calling to write.

WW. Have you gotten an opportunity to meet any writers that you are particularly fond of and if so, who?

JG. I had the honor of meeting and learning from Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch in the Oregon Writers Network Master class for professional writers. I’ve learned so much from them, especially Dean who encouraged me as a writer and bought my first story ever published through Pocket Books.
I also have regular conference calls with two fellow writers from the Master Class, Susan Wingate and Michael Bellomo. We read each other’s work and give feedback. I have to say, they are such wonderful friends and fantastic writers. What a privilege and a pleasure to know and work with them!

WW. Can you tell us what books are in your TBR stack at home?

JG. THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS - C. S. Lewis and dozens of others by bestsellers as well as independent authors whom I’ve recently had the pleasure of getting acquainted with.

WW. When did you know that you wanted to write novels and how did you begin that endeavor?

JG. After I attended my first Oregon Writers Network workshop in 2006 with Dean W. Smith and Kris Rusch, I knew this was what I wanted to do as my career. Shortly after that workshop, in which I learned all about a writer’s career and life as well as created quick synopsizes for dozens of books (BEYOND JUSTICE being one which Kris Rusch had said she wanted to see me write,) I began writing them. I haven’t stopped since.

WW. Most writers have certain rituals or quirky things they do to prepare themselves to sit down and write. Can you tell us about a few of yours?

JG. For me, it’s not so much a writing ritual as it is a daily habit and discipline. I start off every day reading the Bible (one chapter from the Old Testament and one chapter from the New Testament) and then spend a good deal of time in prayer and active “listening.” Many of my book and story ideas are inspired during this time. And all of my marketing strategies that have had any significant success came as a result of praying and listening to the Spirit. I can’t think of a better source of inspiration.

WW. Are there any shocking tidbits about you that your readers do not know? If so, care to tell us about them?

JG. Hmmm… that could be dangerous. Well, Joshua Graham is really just my pen name. And I am not that handsome fellow on the cover of BEYOND JUSTICE (sorry ladies.) People might find it interesting to know that I hold three degrees in music (Bachelor’s and Masters from Juilliard, and Doctorate from Johns Hopkins), I play the cello, worked for 11 years in Information Technology, and once worked as a sales representative for Honda.

WW. We always ask what is the most valuable piece of advice that you have been given and that you would offer up to other aspiring writers?

JG. You are in charge of your own career. Don’t fall into the temptation of thinking, one day an agent or a publisher will make my career. You must learn your craft (writing) and learn about the industry (the business side). Most importantly, don’t let anything stop you from writing, especially fear. We all suffer “this stinks” moments when we write. Push past it and trust your creative voice. Exorcise the critical voice inside which makes you stop writing, prevents you from querying your book to publishers, etc. Only by daring to fail will you succeed.

WW. Can you tell us what your future writing plans are?

JG. God willing, I’m going to write a series of thrillers and Y/A Epic fantasy books. My interests cover a fairly broad range, so it might be that I’ll have a few new pen names for each genre. That will be announced well in advance on my website I love connecting with people on Facebook and Twitter as well. Here is my contact info: ,

Thanks, and I hope everyone will pick up a copy of BEYOND JUSTICE, available at:
Barnes & Noble for the Nook ($2.99)
Amazon: for Kindle ($2.99) or in Trade Paperback
The SONY Reader store and at Smashwords for ALL ebook readers or online reading.
For autographed and personalized paperback copies visit Dawn Treader Press.


  1. Thanks for the opportunity to do this interview.
    Here are the direct links to the resources above for BEYOND JUSTICE:

    Autographed Paperback edition:
    Nook Edition:
    Kindle Edition:
    All other ebook readers:

  2. I've read Beyond Justice three times and I love it!!! I am not at all religious and I thought that the aspect of religion to the plot wasn't inappropriate or over-used, it is simply part of this wonderful story. This book is very thought-provoking and it will make even someone as set in my ways as myself to reconsider their opinions. Although he shows how forgivness and mercy can also be a product of a person's faith, Joshua Graham also asks a more basic question regarding your own piece of mind: is it best for you to let hate and rage fester in your heart and possibly consume you or to have mercy for those that have wronged you and find peace in forgiveness?

    This book is strong and emotional. Graham had to go to some pretty dark places and make them believable--which he did all too well. I was completely enthralled and on the edge of my seat and it even brought me to tears each time I read this book. That tells me how good it really is because even though I knew the whole plot I still felt as if I was reading for the first time.